7 Types of Digestion Problems, Symptoms, and Treatment
Digestive problems are disorders of the digestive system and its organs. These organs may include the oesophagus, stomach, intestines, and gallbladder. Digestion problems may lead to several symptoms that interfere with daily activities. Some common symptoms are nausea, bloating, vomiting, and constipation. There are many causes of digestive problems, including lifestyle choices, autoimmune diseases, mental health issues, genetics and family history.
Our digestive system has an efficient mechanism to collect all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from our food. These things are necessary for the body’s normal functioning. Therefore, digestion problems can also lead to nutritional deficiencies. A deficiency in these nutrients, vitamins or minerals may lead to other disorders. For example, an iron deficiency may lead to anaemia. It is a common disorder caused by digestion problems.
There are several ways to manage digestion problems. The primary method is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It includes eating a well-balanced diet with more dietary fibre. Also, eliminating fatty or processed foods may help ease digestive problems’ symptoms. Furthermore, there are many medications available to treat the severe symptoms of digestive issues. Your healthcare professional may also perform surgery in severe disorders like gallstones.
Types of Digestion Problems 1. Food Intolerance
The cause of these digestive problems is consuming foods that your body can’t break down efficiently. These can include processed foods like fast food, high sugar foods, etc. For example, some lactose-intolerant people may suffer digestive problems if they eat dairy foods. Similarly, people with a gluten allergy or celiac disease may suffer digestive issues if they eat gluten-free foods.
Food intolerance disorders’ treatment includes medication, home remedies, and lifestyle changes. First, it is essential to be aware of sensitive and intolerant foods. Once you know your triggers, avoid eating them and substitute them with healthier options. Regular exercise can also help prevent many food-intolerance disorders.
To treat mild allergic reactions, you should go for the following remedies:
- You should stop eating the food immediately as soon as you discover any reaction in your body.
- You can have over-the-counter histamines to reduce the symptoms of a mild reaction.
- Speak to a professional if your allergy does not reduce and gets worse
Bloating is the accumulation of gas or air in the stomach and intestines. It may be due to the reactions of gut bacteria to certain foods. Also, it may be due to swallowing excessive air while eating or talking.
Some foods that can cause bloating are carbs, salty foods, dairy, and carbonated drinks. Other reasons that may bloat you are if you overeat, eat too fast, are constipated, or suffer from IBS. Many medications may also cause bloating as a side effect. In addition, bloating can cause abdominal pain, fullness, flatulence, and frequent burping.
You may suffer from diarrhoea when you pass loose and watery stool more frequently than usual. It can result from many reasons. For example, if you have a food sensitivity or food intolerance, you may experience diarrhoea if you eat that food. Also, many medical conditions can cause diarrhoea. These include dysentery, amoebiasis, and food poisoning. Mental disorders like anxiety and prolonged stress can also trigger this.
Diarrhoea for an extended time can cause dehydration in the body. Also, it may lead to fever. Consult a physician if the symptoms of diarrhoea become severe.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is the feeling of uneasiness and discomfort in the stomach before vomiting. Vomiting is the involuntary emptying of the stomach. Both may result from eating a specific food and medication. It is a reflex action in the body to eliminate any toxic substance present in the stomach.
It may cause nausea and vomiting to other underlying conditions as well. These include stomach flu, food poisoning, chemotherapy, motion sickness, or some of the causes of nausea and vomiting. You can treat nausea and vomiting using medication and eating some foods. In addition, a doctor can prescribe anti-nausea medications. Also, it is essential to hydrate yourself because dehydration can make nausea worse.
If nausea and vomiting last for more than a day, you should consult a physician. Also, if there is blood in the vomit or stool, is it essential to get it checked.
Indigestion is also known as an upset stomach or dyspepsia. It happens when there is pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen or belly. Eating specific foods may trigger it. Indigestion may be mild or severe, depending on the cause. Some other disorders may cause indigestion symptoms as well. Additionally, some medications may also cause side effects and lead to indigestion.
Some severe symptoms of indigestion include severe vomiting, black stool, fatigue, shortness of breath, or radiating chest pain. If you experience any of these severe symptoms, consult a physician immediately.
It is a type of autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. Gluten is a type of protein present in grains like wheat, barley and rye. Therefore, foods like bread, baked goods, meat substitutes, pasta, pizza, salad dressings, beer, etc., contain gluten.
Celiac disease affects people with gluten sensitivity or gluten allergy. Therefore, they cannot eat gluten-containing foods. However, if they eat gluten, they develop severe symptoms and reactions.
The symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhoea, fatigue, bloating, abdominal pain, weight loss, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Severe cases may cause anaemia or a decrease in iron in the body, osteoporosis, ulcers, and nervous system injuries. Therefore, it is essential to consult a doctor if you experience severe symptoms of celiac disease. There are several treatment options available to treat the symptoms. For example, your doctor can prescribe medication to treat diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. In addition, you can take vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies. The bottom line is the only way to avoid celiac disease is to stop eating foods containing gluten and substitute them with other foods.
Constipation is another digestion problem occurs whenever the body is unable to excrete stool. It may be because your colon cannot pass the waste through the large intestine. Constipation can affect people of all ages and with any health condition.
There are many reasons this may happen. Some include a reduced dietary fibre content in the diet or less water consumption. Also, people who are less active and tend to spend a lot of time lying down have a higher chance of constipation. It may also be a side effect of a medication or diet.
Constipation may cause abdominal pain, bloating or nausea. There are many ways to treat constipation. For example, medication, home remedies and exercise may help relieve constipation. Some medicines like laxatives are pretty compelling. However, they may have side effects if used for an extended period. Also, herbal laxatives like Senna are helpful as well. Some home remedies like probiotics, caffeine, fibre-rich foods, and hot water may also prevent and relieve constipation. Finally, lifestyle changes like regular exercise may prevent constipation.
To avoid constipation, you should drink more water to help rehydrate your body. In addition, you should prefer eating fibre-rich foods, especially soluble and non-fermentable fibre. Finally, you may contact your dietician and prepare a low FODMAP diet.
Gastritis is a type of disease digestion problem where the stomach’s lining gets inflamed. It may be due to an infection, injury, or stomach ulcer. Gastritis causes multiple symptoms in the body. Symptoms of gastritis include indigestion, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, feeling fullness in your body in your stomach. Gastritis may be severe or mild.
Other causes of gastritis include excessive pain-relieving medicine, chronic stress, and underlying health conditions like HIV and Crohn’s disease. Your doctor can diagnose gastritis using lab tests and x-rays. First, they will detect the presence of any bacteria in the stomach lining. In addition, an endoscope can observe the stomach lining using a small camera inserted into the digestive system. Additionally, the x-ray gives a clearer picture of the digestive system as a whole.
You can treat gastritis using medication. For example, if the cause of gastritis is a bacterial infection, antibiotics can be prescribed to kill these bacteria. Also, your healthcare professional may prescribe antacids to reduce the acid production in the stomach and allow the stomach lining to heal.
To avoid gastritis, you should follow an anti-inflammatory diet by limiting processed foods, gluten, and acidic foods. In addition, you may take a garlic extract supplement to help reduce symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome or spastic colon is a disorder with a combination of symptoms relating to the digestive system. The symptoms of IBS may range from mild to severe. The symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bloating, constipation, and irregular bowel movements. One type of IBS is Crohn’s disease. However, it can be diagnosed by ruling out other digestive issues.
The triggers of IBS may be by certain medications, infections, mental disorders, or foods. Your doctor may do an endoscopy, X-ray, or colonoscopy. These help confirm the diagnosis.
Many people can manage digestion problem like IBS with lifestyle changes. For example, they exercise regularly, eat a well-balanced diet, drink enough water, and manage stress. Other people rely on medications to treat their symptoms. For example, your doctor may prescribe antacids, anti-diarrheal, laxatives, antidepressants and fibre supplements to people suffering from IBS.
To avoid IBS symptoms, you should have a fibre-rich diet including fruits, vegetables, and beans. In addition, you should replace milk in your diet with yoghurt to meet your protein and calcium requirements.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or acid reflux, is a digestion problem caused by excess stomach or bile acid in the oesophagus. It can irritate and burn your stomach and oesophagus. In addition, it may inflame these organs and cause esophageal ulcers in severe cases. You may also call it heartburn because it creates a burning sensation in the oesophagus near the heart.
If you have acid reflux more than twice a week, it may be considered GERD. The acid reflux can be made worse after eating a meal. Some foods that can increase acid reflux are fatty, sugary, and processed foods. GERD is a common symptom of pregnancy.
Your doctor can diagnose GERD using an endoscope, an X-ray, and a pH probe test to determine the acidity in the oesophagus. GERD treatment includes antacids and other medication to control stomach acid production. In addition, your healthcare professional may perform surgery to correct the disorder in severe cases. Lifestyle changes like eating healthy and unprocessed foods and exercising can also help.
To avoid the symptoms, you should maintain a healthy weight as excess weight pressurises your stomach. You should also avoid citrus fruit juices, caffeine, and garlic.
Gallstones occur when the digestive juices become hardened inside the gallbladder. The gallbladder is an organ that helps digest foods containing lipids or fats. In addition, they store digestive juices called bile. When the bile, along with cholesterol and calcium salts, hardens and forms into a mass, it can block the gallbladder and its ducts. As a result, it can cause pain in the abdomen and cause ineffective digestion of foods.
Some risk factors of gallstones include an unhealthy diet, ethnicity, and having pre-existing disorders. For example, if you eat a high-fat, high-cholesterol, or low-fibre diet, you may have a higher chance of getting gallstones. Also, if you have hypertension, diabetes or liver disease, you may also form gallstones. Also, according to a study, Hispanics, Native Americans have a higher risk of gallstones than other ethnicities.
The symptoms of gallstones can range depending on the size and severity of the mass. However, some common symptoms are back pain, abdominal pain, pain in the right shoulder etc. In severe cases, gallstones can lead to jaundice or yellowing of the skin. It happens because the body cannot regulate toxins due to the damaged gallbladder. It may also lead to high fevers. You should consult your healthcare provider if you experience any severe symptoms of gallstones.
The diagnosis of gallstones is through ultrasound, CT, X-rays and endoscopy. The goal of these methods is to see the gallstones in the gallbladder. Your doctor mainly treats gallstones using surgery. In the surgery, it removes the entire gallbladder. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to dissolve gallstones for mild cases.
To avoid gallstones, you should go for a gallbladder cleanse method. It includes consuming a mix of apple juice, herbs and olive oil for 2 to 5 days. The procedures might vary according to individual differences.
Diverticulitis is the bulging of small pouches that form in the digestive tract. These pouches are called diverticula. They result from infections or injuries in the intestines. The severity of diverticulitis depends on the size and location of the pouches. Moreover, some risk factors of diverticulitis are age and ethnicity. For example, people over the age of 40 are more likely to develop diverticulitis than others. Similarly, people born in Western countries like the US, Canada and UK have a higher risk of diverticulitis than others.
It may cause diverticulitis due to a poor diet. For example, a diet with red meat, low fibre, and more fat can increase your risk for diverticulitis. In addition, some medications like Advil, Motrin, steroids, opioids and aspirin may also increase your chances of developing diverticulitis.
Some symptoms of diverticulitis include nausea, vomiting, and irregular bowel movements. Severe symptoms of diverticulitis may include rectal bleeding, fever, chills, and abdominal cramps. You should consult a physician if you experience any painful symptoms of diverticulitis.
The diagnosis of diverticulitis is through a series of methods like blood tests, stool sample collection, CT scan, endoscopy, colonoscopy, enema and rectal exam. To treat diverticulitis, doctors may prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. Also, they specify fibre supplements and medication for other symptoms.
To reduce the symptoms of diverticulitis, you may follow a liquid diet for a couple of days. In addition, you should have foods with natural probiotics to keep your digestive tract healthy.
Digestive problems are digestive system disorders, including organs like the oesophagus, stomach, intestines, and gallbladder. Some examples of digestion disorders include IBS, food intolerance, diverticulitis, gallstones and GERD. They can hinder effective digestion and lead to nutrient, vitamin, or mineral deficiencies.
There are many causes of digestive problems, including lifestyle choices, autoimmune diseases, mental health issues, and family history. Most digestive disorders are manageable by changes in diet, exercise and stress levels. However, there are medications to manage the symptoms and even surgery for more severe cases. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of any food intolerances and eat healthy foods.
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